Blake Griffin slowly made his way through the Clippers locker room Monday at the Verizon Center then stopped, nodded a hello and whispered an exhausted sounding "What's up?"
Then he carried on, albeit ever so gingerly, walking suspiciously like a man twice his age.
Now we know why.
And it's not good news for the Clippers, who could ill-afford any more of the bad kind.
A left hamstring tweak Griffin suffered in Sunday's game against the Boston Celtics - and thought nothing of - worsened early Monday evening.
By the time he took the floor for warm-ups against the Washington Wizards, it was too tight and too painful to play on.
Next thing you know, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro and his assistants were on their way to the floor and passing Griffin, who was on his way back to the locker room.
Del Negro was down another starter.
"We were literally on our way out and he was on his way in," is how Del Negro learned Griffin was a no-go against the Wizards.
It set the perfect down tone for what eventually became the Clippers third straight defeat - this one a 98-90 loss to the Wizards in which 20 turnovers and a serious lack of late-game poise sabotaged them.
The Clippers were within one point with 5:39 remaining, but then turned the ball over five times over the balance of the fourth quarter to essentially give the Wizards the game.
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